Things You Need to Know About International Background Checks The national flag is flying around the world

Things You Need to Know About International Background Checks

The value of pre-employment background screenings is clear: having reliable information about applicants leads to safer, smarter hiring decisions. But what about international applicants? Is it possible to have the same amount of confidence in candidates who have lived or worked outside of the US? The answer is absolutely. International employee background checks are, however, a bit more complicated.

Here are a few things you need to know:

International Background Checks are Important

Any comprehensive screening process needs to include provisions for international background checks. International screenings apply to US citizens or residents who have lived or worked abroad and for international residents. We live in an environment where people move around a lot; the inability to screen internationally leaves you exposed to unnecessary risk and may mean missing out an exceptional talent. International pre-employment background checks help your organization do the following:

  • Confirm requisite skills and education
  • Verify work experience
  • Make knowledgeable hiring decisions based on thorough and reliable information

FCRA Still Applies

The rules outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) apply in international checks when run on US-based applicants. Consumer Reporting Agencies are legally obligated to comply with adverse action processes, ban-the-box laws, and other regulations. In addition, it’s important to recognize the following:

  • Every country where searches are conducted will require its own documentation.
  • International background checks take more time than domestic-only checks and turnaround times vary by country.


GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – refers to international data protection laws that apply to candidates who live outside the United States. If you are running a background screen on an applicant who lives in another country, GDPR laws govern the transfer and processing of personal information from that country to the United States. Screeners running these checks, regardless of their location, must comply with GDPR laws or be subject to fines and penalties.

Experience Matters

International background checks are different. They require specialized skills and in-depth knowledge of the nuances involved. Significant barriers exist that make global screens challenging. These barriers include language, time zones, local culture, and laws, just to name a few. Boots on the ground are often critical to getting reliable results.

Global Solutions

Hiring an exceptional global team requires flexible, reliable international background checks. Effective global screening solutions allow your organization to make informed hiring decisions with confidence. Talk to your background check provider today about their approach to international pre-employment background screenings to make sure they are poised to provide the information you need to take your business to the next level.

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